Seok-joo finally takes a step to turning his life around, though goodness knows it takes forever for him to get there. I thought we were going to watch him do some actual lawyering but it's only at the very end that he finally decides to use his legal powers for good instead of evil. It's a nice moment to build up to, but did we really need an entire episode to do it? It was obvious from the minute this woman showed up that she would be a part of his overall redemption arc.
By contrast Ji-yoon's role in the narrative remains poorly defined. I'm genuinely not sure what she's even supposed to be doing at this point. Ji-yoon's not much of an influence on Seok-joo in either positive or negative ways. She's just there. There's a few cute scenes revolving around her wants and oddly defined personal relationship with Seok-joo. But in terms of the broader plot, where is she even going? Is Ji-yoon going to learn something too?
This drama has a bad habit of just repeating all this background information that we already know without actually doing much to move it forward. Scenes like Seok-joo meeting his father and getting the cold shoulder work because this is a new experience for him. As far as Seok-joo knows he's on good terms with his father, so he has no idea how to react to the guy's general enmity. People Seok-joo used to advocate against, sure. But his dad?
Contrast, well, almost everything else. The last episode set up most of the important information regarding the current crime and Seok-joo's past relationship with the accused woman. As far as the office gossip goes, that's practically been the entire drama up until this point. It's just the same material, and as much as I'd like to be excited about this drama finally making progress with its characters actually doing something, I had the same false optimism last episode.
So far the only particularly strong part of "A New Leaf" is Seok-joo's personal story. Kim Myung-min continues to give an excellent performance as a man who's surprised to discover that so many people in his life genuinely dislike him, and decides to do something about it. The drama badly needs some courtroom action in order to make Seok-joo's personal conflict believable and exciting. Right now the other characters just aren't able to do much insofar as making this drama exciting to watch.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "A New Leaf" Episode 6"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 3
"You're Surrounded" is much stronger when it focuses on action and weak when it tries to be funny.,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctor Stranger" Episode 4
Jae-hee plays a bigger role this episode while still managing to remain a complete mystery. Hoon, ,...More
Song Seung-heon, "I know a coy one when I see one"
Song Seung-heon praised Lim Ji-yeon for her innocence. Song Seung-heon starred in the adult rated,...More
Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.